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 Ilitch: Leyland, Dombrowski will return in '11

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PostSubject: Ilitch: Leyland, Dombrowski will return in '11   Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:51 pm

Ilitch: Leyland, Dombrowski will return in '11

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

08/06/10 7:51 PM ET

DETROIT -- Any lingering question about the futures of Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland seemed to find its answer Friday, when team owner Mike Ilitch said both will be back next year.

Ilitch made the comments to reporters during a Friday afternoon press conference for the other team he owns, the Detroit Red Wings, who introduced new signing Mike Modano.

"I'm staying with Dave and I'm staying with our manager," Ilitch said, according to the Detroit News. "I feel we're gonna move forward. I think we'll be solid."

Dombrowski and Leyland are both under contract through next season, so the word from Ilitch doesn't require any move contractually. Dombrowski signed his current contract after the Tigers' trip to the World Series in 2006. Leyland signed his extension in the middle of last season, when the Tigers were in first place for much of the year before falling to second in a one-game tiebreaker loss to the Twins.

The Tigers have fallen back since the All-Star break, due in no small part to injuries in the starting lineup. The Tigers won't have Magglio Ordonez until September after he fractured his right ankle on a slide. Brandon Inge missed two weeks with a fractured left hand, and Carlos Guillen is on track to return Monday from a strained right calf.

Dombrowski and Leyland could have a different-looking team on their hands next year, with more than $50 million coming off the payroll with expiring contracts to Jeremy Bonderman, Inge, Gerald Laird, Johnny Damon, Bobby Seay, plus former Tigers Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis and Adam Everett. Detroit will most likely have to decide whether to exercise a $15 million option on Ordonez for next year.

Ilitch indicated he'll give Dombrowski and the rest of the management the finances to be active in the offseason. But he also suggested that he'll look for flexibility rather than long-term contracts.

"I think I'm at the point where I've got this foundation where I want to be Boston and I want to be New York," Ilitch told the Detroit Free Press. "Every year you've got holes to fill, two or three. We got there in 2006. We haven't been able to get up there and stay there like the Wings."


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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